Level 5’s Yokai Watch series of handheld video games has been extremely hot stuff in Japan, and given what a similar pattern it is to the way Pokemon blew up, you’d think a localization would have happened sooner than 2015. But Yokai Watch is also much more Japanese than anything else aimed at kids that’s found its way here — you have to know about more than power levels and kimonos to understand what’s going on. Presumably, it’s this reason that has turned off conglomerates from globalizing the brand.
It took Nintendo itself to finally say, “If no one else is going to sell it globally, we might as well give it a shot.” They’ll be releasing the first Yokai Watch game to escape Japan under their label on all other continents, including America, Europe and Australia.
If you like Level 5’s games, Yokai Watch may be what you have to settle for….the developer is sadly moving both its Professor Layton and Fantasy Life series to the shallow mobile market.
Nintendo of Europe’s press release follows below. The release spells the title as “Yo-Kai Watch,” so presumably the hyphenated version will be the official title outside of Japan.
7th April 2015 – After selling millions and becoming a cultural phenomenon in Japan, the role-playing game YO-KAI WATCH for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems is coming to Europe. Published by Nintendo and developed by LEVEL-5 Inc. , YO-KAI WATCH centers on a boy who gets a special watch that lets him befriend and help mischievous Yo-kai* and later summon them to fight other Yo-kai. Players can overcome challenges and help various characters solve everyday problems with the help of Yo-kai friends! These eccentric Yo-kai resemble anything from inanimate objects to mythical creatures.
After the 2013 launch in Japan, the Nintendo 3DS game became a top-seller and was well-received by both critics and players. Along with the anime and manga, the YO-KAI WATCH phenomenon evoked wide-spread popularity and demand for the brand among children.
YO-KAI WATCH is launching in the United States, Europe, Korea, Australia and also New Zealand, demonstrating its global demand and appeal. Beyond video games, manga and anime television shows, YO-KAI WATCH has generated more than $1 billion in retail sales of toys and other merchandise in Japan, not counting games, music or publishing.
*Yo-kai: They are not ghosts, monsters or creatures. Yo-kai are, quite simply, Yo-kai. They cannot be seen by the human eye, but they are everywhere. Whether born from the soul of a deceased human, or an everyday object discovering its higher purpose, their personalities are distinctly humanlike.
For further updates:
Nintendo 3DS (UK) on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Nintendo3DSUK
Nintendo UK on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/NintendoUK
Nintendo of Europe on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendoeurope
Nintendo UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendouk